Attack on Bollywood show creates political storm in south

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 20:23 GMT]
The grenade attack on Bollywood concert held Saturday in Colombo killing two and injuring several has created a political storm in the south of the country following a speech by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge at Matara Sunday accusing a parliamentarian of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and some monks of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) for causing the crime.

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), all monks political party in a media release issued Tuesday in Sinhala described the speech of the President at Matara, down south of the country as "not befitting for a responsible leader".

The statement released by the JHU parliamentary group leader Ven. Athurelya Ratana Thera referred to the speech where President accused a UNP MP from the Kotte area and two monks of the JHU as responsible for the grenade attack on Bollywood concert.

"As Head of State your speeches are so important, and if based on incorrect information, could send very wrong signals. Hence it behoves you not to resort to such misinformation campaign. The JHU has nothing to do with this incident," the statement categorically told Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge.

The UNP also condemned the speech by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge in Matara as irresponsible one.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) Sunday apologized to the Government of India thus blaming that there are "elements in Sri Lankan society outside the government who are opposed to a peaceful negotiated settlement of the ethnic problem and are seeking to undermine law and order."

The GoSL release further noted that "these political elements are using members of the criminal underworld to thwart the government’s campaign against organized crime."

Meanwhile, a Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr.Sarath Lugoda, said that more than 25 people including private security men who were on duty at the concert had been questioned but no arrests were made yet.

Four special police teams have been appointed by the Inspector General of Police to investigate the incident and to bring the culprits to book, police sources said.

 

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